Posted on September 1, 2022
(HARTFORD) — Today, Representative Kathy Kennedy (R-119) joined House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora (R-86) and Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) in calling for a special session to consider additional funding for the significantly insufficient Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) allocation plan.
The official press conference was held this morning responding to CT Democratic lawmakers on the State’s Energy & Technology Committee, Human Services Committee, and Appropriations Committee blocking a vote this week on a proposed amendment to increase funding for energy assistance, primarily for low-income families. Currently, the Governor’s proposed allocation plan anticipates $79 million in federal funds, which is a 40% decrease from last year of more than $50 million.
“It’s my responsibility as a member of the Appropriations Committee to promote transparency as we find the best ways to allocate state funding for state residents,” commented Rep. Kennedy this morning. “In Milford and Orange, many families are worried about paying for heat this winter and this plan would provide thousands of Connecticut families with much needed financial relief and some solace as we head into the cold months.”
During this August 29, 2022, Joint Hearing, the aforementioned committees heard testimony from a variety of concerned CT residents and business owners who fear cutting funding from LIHEAP will create an additional financial burden for low-income families this winter, who normally apply each season.
“Worst of all, financial issues only scratch the surface of the real issue at stake with this decrease in LIHEAP funding,” added Rep. Kennedy. “I specifically worry that the potential for domestic fires will increase this winter as more families look towards alternative heating methods or become unaware of the mechanical dangers sediment in an empty oil tank can have on home heating systems.”
“That is why I have signed the petition calling for a special session to enact legislation, redirecting American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to continue funding LIHEAP at the necessary levels, preventing each low-income family from losing an average of $3,000. Now more than ever, as financial insecurity concerns echo throughout our state, there is no better time than the present to address home heating funding as the vital necessity it is.”
For more information on this and other state issues, please visit RepKennedy.com where you can also contact the representative with questions and concerns, as well as visit her Facebook page.